In Your Corner: The Lehmann’s story
The Lehmann family started farming as pioneer settlers in 1871 when the Caltowie district, located in South Australia’s mid north, was cut up from sheep stations for settlement. Today, Campbell View is a 550-hectare mixed cropping property, run by fourth generation farmer Peter Lehmann and his son, David.
A jovial pair, the two have had their fair share of challenges with Peter facing a second round of chemotherapy this year. But you wouldn’t know it from their dispositions. Their smiles are as bright as the canola crops blooming behind them as they speak about what it’s like to work alongside each other every day, and how embracing change is a part of their job description.
“Dad’s approach to farming and his willingness to change things that weren’t working are part of the reason I wanted to come back to the farm,” says David.
“Dad’s always been open to new ideas and I really liked that… I’m extremely lucky to have him.”
Peter says that it’s a long time since the days of spreading grain by hand and controlling weeds through cultivation. Although the work is less physically hard, he says that change has brought with it a whole new set of challenges.
“Scale is important to remain competitive and that’s a real challenge for us. Working hard and trying to do things as efficiently as possible is really important. Technology is helping us a lot there.”
“The seasons are hard to predict. The weather is more erratic and that’s one of our biggest challenges…”
Technology and advice play a key role in addressing these challenges for the Lehmanns, and aids decisions making. David says that working alongside their agronomist Darren Pech and the Elders Jamestown team has made all the difference in helping drive the success of the father-son business since David returned in 2002.
“Markets are quite volatile. People like Darren keep us in the loop and help make sure we are making sound decisions.”
“I consider him more than an agronomist, he’s a friend.”
“It’s more than a business, it’s personal too. We’ve been able to build really good relationships. It’s a pleasure to have them helping us. They’re there to help us and they really do go the extra mile.”
For more information on how Elders can support you, visit your local branch or eldersinyourcorner.com.au